Kadima not splitting – for now

MKs who supported Livni say that in the future they could still try to force a new leadership race in Kadima.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
July 19, 2012 04:46
1 minute read.
Shaul Mofaz announces Kadima is leaving the gov't

Shaul Mofaz announces Kadima is leaving the gov't 370 R. (photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)

 
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Kadima’s departure from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s national-unity coalition ended efforts by dovish MKs in the party to split it, legislators involved in the effort said Wednesday.

MKs who supported Tzipi Livni in the March Kadima leadership race tried unsuccessfully to draft the seven people necessary to leave the faction and the coalition. While their opinion of Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz has not changed, they said that because the party left the coalition, they would suspend their effort and remain loyal to their party – at least for now.

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The MKs said that in the future they could still try to force a new leadership race in Kadima or draft the support of the 15 MKs necessary for a hostile takeover of the party.

The efforts could be impacted by the pace of former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s Holyland corruption trial as well as the decision-making of another potential future Kadima leader, former MK Tzachi Hanegbi.


Hanegbi – who left the Knesset in 2010 following a perjury conviction – vigorously opposed Kadima leaving the coalition because he felt an agreement could be reached with Likud on equalizing the burden of IDF service and because he supports nationalunity governments. He is said to be reconsidering his future in Kadima.

There are MKs in Kadima’s Right flank who want to leave the party, including Otniel Schneller and Yulia Shamolov Berkovich, who voted against leaving the coalition. But they lack the seven MKs necessary for a split, and the Kadima rebels on the Left refused to join forces with their counterparts on the Right.

“They begged to be part of our seven, but we said no, because we are not political opportunists,” said a left-wing Kadima MK.

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